Part 2- BIF Shooters help, CC please

Started Mar 17, 2014 | Discussions thread
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dzba Senior Member • Posts: 1,369
Part 2- BIF Shooters help, CC please

First off I'm once again (though I shouldn't be) surprised at how helpful fellow forum members have been offering tips,pointers and support of my efforts.  A huge thank you to everyone who has offered help.

Updates: Saturday's weather left a lot to be desired for photographers.  Wind kicked up and was 20-30 mph with gusts a lot stronger.  Almost no sun.  Eagles numbers were down.  Yesterday the weather was very nice, but eagle numbers were down even more.:-(

I experimented and tried to adjust to your tips.  I was not able to try them all, yet.

I bumped up the ISO (keeping it as low as possible), trying to get shutter speed at 1/2000 sec min.  I opened up the lens to 5.6 to help get the faster ss speed, too.  I can see improvement from this.  My camera is set in burst mode (continuous shooting) until buffer is full.  I've set auto focus to AI servo, single point (center one).  I intend to try the flexi -zone, all points, just haven't done it yet.

I tried turning the IS on the lens off and turned it back on after looking at what I could see of the images on the camera LCD.  May try turning it off again for a while today to experiment further.

the good: 

no matter how many times I see these creatures I feel it's still a treat for me.

my tracking skills are continuing to improve.  Anticipation of what the eagles will do is better, but they do more I don't guess, than what I do.  I wonder if most of them are female ?   More of my shots are getting the whole bird in the frame. I'm getting more selective with my attempts and not just clicking away.

Met some friendly and helpful folks while doing this, here and out in the field.:-D

Seeing eagle behavior, especially up close is invigorating.  Nothing like have a bird with 6' or more wingspan doing a barrel roll turn 15- 20 yards directly above you.  When they choose they have come close and my 18-55 mm kit lens would be better.   Never thought I'd say that.  Always felt they were too shy and wouldn't be closer than a ways off.

I think I've narrowed down the main problem: ME

the not so good:

the blur and softness has improved, but is still way short of being okay to me.  All the following are from highest jpeg, just resized for posting here.  No editing done to these.

SS 1/4000, Aperture priority, .67 exposure bias, FS 5.6, FL 270 mm, ISO 800

Yes, I clipped this one.

SS- 1/2000, EV .67, FS- 5.6, FL 270 mm, ISO 800 , too close, too fast

SS 1/4000, FS 5.6, EV .67,  ISO 1600, FL 300 mm  Sorry about the electrical wires in the background.

SS 1/2500, FS 6.3, EV 0.0, ISO 800, FL 300

I did a couple of other things  too.  To see if by shooting in both raw and jpeg highest quality if I could see the difference in sharpness.  I also (over did this, changed the sharpness setting to 7 , I have lowered it to 4 per Digi's suggestion).  Yes, the camera slowed down shooting in both formats.  What I was surprised by was I could see little difference in raw or jpeg sharpness.  Does that mean both formats are sharpened in camera, I thought only jpeg would be.  Can't see a difference, I know by using raw one can do non destructive editing, and have many options.

Please give me your honest feedback.  I suspect that 99% of the blur and softness is from camera movement or my poor tracking.  The remaining 1% is because the lens isn't high $$$ glass.

I'm heading out for another try, weather forecast is for 25-35 mph winds, stronger at times.  At least is predicted to to mostly sunny and in the 60's.

Will check back in tonight after today's challenge. Mike

 dzba's gear list:dzba's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 Canon EOS Rebel T4i Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM +1 more
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